Parenting During Lockdown

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Parenting During Lockdown

Vikram Viswanathan
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Parenting During Lockdown

Parenting has never been an easy thing to accomplish. It has been even more challenging during the lockdown. However, it has also been a revelation for my wife and myself– we have a 9-year-old son - in many ways.

I think the lockdown has provided us, parents, with an opportunity to understand our children better. Until this crisis passes, we are their best friends. It has paved ways for having more enriching conversations with children. For example, when our son often thinks aloud about many different things it has been good fun to discuss, debate and offer new perspectives to him.

In our days we accepted what our parents and teachers told us on face value. Today we definitely cannot dismiss our children’s observations and resultant questions. We have to engage with them, find answers together and make them think about many different possibilities as well. As parents, if we do not have an answer to something that is asked by our children it is becoming a norm that we research the topic further and come back to them with possible answers.

Anyways, back to the lockdown and how we are trying to keep our son busy.

Games together

Some of the activities we have been doing includes 1. What is the good word 2. Indoor cricket 3. Mental Maths

1. What is the good word: It is a great medium to give out verbal clues and elicit the right answer and children find it good fun to engage in this game. It also tests their memory, knowledge and ability to put various clues together.

2. Indoor cricket: Simple and easy and it is also a great workout for children. All that is required is a plastic or a soft ball so as not to disturb the furniture and artefacts! and a bat of course.

3. Mental Maths: good way to ignite quick calculations. Most of the time we are looking for approximate and not precise answers. The process is more important than the answer itself. There is always a calculator, which can punch them out the exactitudes.

Education through entertainment

It is becoming more imperative on us parents to curate television channels, which we can view together with our children. For example, it may not be a great idea to watch a full movie every day, with our kids lurking around. Particularly keeping in mind it is becoming hard to find content, which is 100% graphic free.

Therefore, the option automatically shifts to watching content dedicated to kids- but we parents may not want to watch the same day in and day out. So we switch to our mobiles or tabs leaving our kids alone. However, it is not fun when we don’t watch something together. Remember the days of Doordarshan and how we all used to huddle together to watch our favorite programs.

Therefore, what are the options?

In our case, we shifted to watching content like Quiz shows. I am passionate about quizzes having participated in many live contests during my college days. Therefore, I started running available episodes on YouTube. My son, after having watched a few episodes has taken a liking to these shows and is unknowingly adding lots to his knowledge base. The competition amongst the teams also makes it entertaining and interesting for him to watch.

Tata Crucible quiz is a good example here. Some of the questions involve connecting together many different things before forking out an answer, which is good for lateral thinking.

Another option is to view sports with kids. Some web-series episodes focus on discipline, integrity and hard work required in almost every sport, which can create good impressions on young minds. Children begin to understand that when they see Viral Kohli hit a sixer, they are just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The training, dedication and rigor all happen behind the scenes.

One can learn many other things from such sporting contests even as adults. Surely, Lewis Hamilton is not going to win every race. Neither is Federer going to win all the Grand Slam events. They all will have to get back to the drawing board when they lose and fine-tune their skills for the upcoming contest. Also, every match you start from “ 0 ”, a bit like zero based budgeting. At the same time when you win it’s good to possess a balanced head between one’s shoulders. In essence, sports teaches us how to treat vicissitudes of life with equanimity not to mention resilience, patience, and integrity.

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